By Miss Cranton
1920s Revision – key questions
Key questions red amber green
Section A – Political and social challenges facing America
WHY DID IMMIGRATION BECOME SUCH A MAJOR ISSUE IN
Why did people emigrate to the USA?
Why was there opposition to immigration?
What was there a fear of political extremism (communists) in the USA?
Why was the Sacco and Vanzetti case important?
WAS AMERICA A COUNTRY OF RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL
INTOLERANCE DURING THE 1920s?
What was religious fundamentalism? (Bible Belt / Monkey trial)
What was the experience of Black Americans?
What was the Ku Klux Klan?
Why was no action taken against the KKK?
How were Native Americans treated?
WAS THE 1920s A TIME OF ORGANISED CRIME AND CORRUPTION?
Why was prohibition introduced?
What effects did prohibition have on US society?
Why did prohibition come to an end?
What was the era of the gangster?
What was the extent of government corruption and scandal?
Section B – THE RISE AND FALL OF THE AMERICAN
WHAT WERE THE CAUSES OF THE ECONOMIC BOOM?
How did American assets and developments contribute to the economic boom?
How did the attitude and policies of the Republican presidents contribute to the
HOW DID THIS PROSPERITY AFFECT AMERICAN SOCIETY?
What were the main features of the new consumer society?
What was the influence of the car industry?
Which other industries experienced a boom?
Which groups and sectors remained poor?
WHY DID THIS PROSPERITY COME TO A SUDDEN END?
What were the long term reasons for the end of prosperity?
What were the short term reasons for the end of prosperity?
What were the events of the Wall Street crash?
What were the immediate effects of the Wall Street crash?
N.B Prosperity = wealth / success / fortune / riches
Examples of the possible sources questions
1a. What does Source …..show you about…….? 2 marks
a) ….Industrial production in the 1920s?
b) ….Immigration to the US?
c) …the development of New York by the mid 1920s?
d) …advertisements in the USA in the 1920s?
e) …America in 1928?
f) …developments in the construction industry?
g) …farming in the early 1920s?
h) …black sharecroppers?
i) …black Americans in the 1920s?
j) …the USA in the 1920s?
k) …the condition of the US economy by late 1929?
l) …the problems of overproduction?
m) ..the price of shares in the USA in the years 1925-33?
n) …the problems of the US economy in October 1929?
o) …the impact of the Wall Street Crash?
1b. Use source …. And your own knowledge to explain ….(4 marks)
a) ….why the US economy benefited from the First World War
b) ….why there was a boom in the stock market in the 1920s
c) …why there was a growth in consumerism in the USA
d) …why the was a growth in the ownership of electrical goods in the 1920s
e) …why Ford sold so many cars in the 1920s
f) …why transport got easier in America during the 1920s
g) …why farmers faced problems in the 1920s
h) …why trade unions declined in the 1920s
i) …why there were problems in the coal industry in the 1920s
j) …why the railroads were unable to prosper in the 1920s
k) …why there were problems in the stock market in the later 1920s
l) …how the stock market crash in Oct 1929
1c - How far does source …. Support …… (5 marks)
a) ….the view that advertising played an important role in the sale of Ford cars?
b) ….that the policies of the Republican presidents were the most import reason for the economic boom in
c) …The car industry was the most important reason for the economic boom in the 1920s?
d) …that economic prosperity was due to the developments in the car industry?
e) …that falling demand for consumer goods was the main cause of the Wall Street crash?
f) …that the Wall Street crash was due to reckless speculation by investors?
1d- How useful is source… to an historian studying …… Explain your
answer using your own knowledge? (6 marks)
a) ….the changes in the methods of manufacturing in America during the 1920s?
b) …the impact of advertising in helping to create America’s economic boom during the 1920s?
c) …the methods used by an advertiser in the 1920s?
d) …the assembly line process?
e) … the economic policies of the Republican Presidents?
f) …the problems in the textile industries in the 1920s?
g) …the long term causes of the economic crash?
h) …the causes of the Wall Street Crash?
i) …the Wall Street Crash?
j) …the immediate effects of the Wall Street crash?
1e. Why do source … and … have different views about……?
In your answer you should refer to both the content of the source and the
author (8 marks)
1. …the stock market of the 1920s?
2. …the workforce in a Ford factory?
3. …why the US economy boomed in the 1920s?
4. …the success of the Republican presidents policies?
5. …the impact of the Ford Model T?
6. …the influence of the car industry?
7. ...life in the 1920s?
8. …how economic prosperity affected American society?
9. …the causes of the Wall Street Crash?
10. …the events of the Wall Street Crash?
2a. What does source A show you about…..? (2 marks)
a) …immigration to the USA in 1920?
b) ...attitudes to immigration?
c) …American attempts to restrict immigration?
d) …racial intolerance in the Southern States?
e) …the treatment of black Americans during the 1920s
f) …black migration?
g) …the KKK?
i) …attitudes to alcohol?
Testing comprehension of a source
– Look at picture pick out details and highlight
– Use written information as well
– Do not use own knowledge – no marks for it
– You need to pick out at least 2 relevant points which are well developed and
– About 4 sentences in length 2-3 minutes
2b. Describe……… (5 marks)
a) …why people wanted to immigrate to the USA
b) …the key features of restrictions placed on immigration into the USA in the 1920s
c) …the Palmer Raids
d) …Sacco and Vanzetti case
e) …the treatment of Black Americans during the 1920s
f) …the race riots of 1920
g) …the work of the NAACP and UNIA in the 1920s
h) …the aims of the KKK
i) …the activities of the KK
j) …the lifestyle of Native Americans during the 1920s
k) …the attitudes of religious fundamentalists to changes affecting American life during the 1920s
l) …the arguments to support the introduction of prohibition
m) …the impact of prohibition
n) …the end of prohibition
o) ...Al Capone’s rise to be a chief gangster
p) ...how gangsters were responsible for an increase in violent crime during the 1920s
q) …the corruption in the government under president Harding
BE RELEVANT – ANSWER THE QUESTION
Try and make your points in date order / the order they happen
Use the question to start your answer.
Add DETAIL – DATES, EVENTS, NAMES, KEY WORDS, LAWS,
More detailed you are the higher mark you get!
Aim to write at least 2 full length paragraphs.
Aim to include at least 5 key points that are supported and developed.
2c. Explain……… (4 marks)
a) ….why there was a growth in opposition to immigration in the USA
b) …the effects of the National Origins Act of 1924
c) …the impact of the strikes of 1919
d) …why there was a fear of revolution in the USA in 1919
e) …the causes of unrest in 1919
f) … if Sacco and Vanzetti were used as scapegoats
g) …why John Scopes was put on trial in 1925
h) …the beliefs of religious fundamentalists.
i) …why segregation was introduced in the Southern States
j) …black Americans migrated North
k) …why the KKK was able to operate freely in the 1920s
l) …why black Americans were treated differently in Southern states
m) …why the American government wanted to ‘Americanise’ the Native Americans
n) …why there was opposition to alcohol in the USA
o) …why it was difficult to prevent the smuggling of alcohol into the USA
p) …why opposition to prohibition grew
q) …the impact of prohibition
r) …why it was difficult to enforce prohibition
s) …how gangsters attempted to control local politics
t) …how prohibition led to an increase in corruption and crime
Give a NUMBER OF DIFFERENT REASONS (4+) which are well explained
The more reasons you give for something the higher mark you get
Reasons MUST be supported by relevant DETAIL - DATES, EVENTS, NAMES,
KEY WORDS, LAWS, ORGANISATIONS, NUMBERS
Don’t make general comments!
Give examples to support points.
BE RELEVANT – ANSWER THE QUESTION.
2c. Use your own knowledge to construct a two –sided argument
a) Was the fear of communism the most important reason for the restrictions on immigration in the USA in
the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You may wish to discuss the following in your answer.
The fear of communism and its impact
Other factors which led to the restriction in the number of immigrants being allowed to enter the
Give a judgement
b) Were conditions bad for all black Americans during the 1920s? Explain your answer fully. You should
give a two sided answer to the question.
Discuss the bad treatment of black Americans
Discuss the improvements experienced by some black Americans
Give a judgement
c) Were the Jim Crow laws the worst example of intolerance in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your
answer fully. You should give a two sided answer to this question
Discuss how Jim Crow laws enforced intolerance
Discuss other examples of racial and religious intolerance within American society
Give a judgement
1. Was gang rivalry the most important aspect of crime in the USA in the 1920s? Explain your answer
Discuss gang rivalry and its impact
Discuss other factors which led to the rise in crime in the 1920s
Give a judgement
You must WRITE A 2 SIDED BALANCED ARGUMENT
You need to use Capital letters and formal English
Use DETAILS support your points – NAMES, DATES, KEY WORDS, EVENTS,
LAWS, ORGANISATIONS, NUMBERS
Aim to link paragraphs e.g. ‘other factors include’, ‘also important’, ‘in addition to’,
DON’T MAKE GENERALISED COMMENTS
MAKE A JUDGEMENT AT THE END – rank your points in order of importance,
say what is the most important reason.
Aim to write 1-2 sides of a page
GOOD LUCK with the revision
Email me with any quick questions
SECTION A – THE MAIN POLITICAL AND SOCIAL
CHALLENGES FACING AMERICA
Why did immigration become such a big issue
in the USA?
Before 1919 about 40 million people emigrated to the USA
Most came from Southern (e.g. Italy) and Eastern (e.g. Poland / Russia) Europe. They were called
Old immigrants were from Western and Northern Europe (e.g. Germany and Britain) and had arrived
In the 1920s there was growing hatred of foreigners (xenophobia)
Why did people emigrate to the USA?
Push factors – Reasons to leave their own country
Escape religious persecution (e.g. Russian Jews)
To escape poverty
Pull factors reasons to move to the USA
Land to farm
Hope of a New better life / Jobs
Seen as a ‘land of opportunity’
Seen as the ‘land of the free’ / Had basic rights
Open door Policy
The open door policy made it easy for people to come to America
Over 40 million mainly Europeans had immigrated by 1919
This created a ‘melting pot’ of different races, cultures, religions and
What was Ellis Island?
Most immigrants arrived by sea
70% landed at Ellis Island, near New York
Up to 5,000 people went through immigration control each day – this usually
took 3-5 hours. Others kept for longer for more testing (medical and legal
examinations). The unlucky were sent home
Why was there opposition to immigration?
By 1919 many people started to be against immigration / Intolerance grew
For many American’ s the ideal citizen was a WASP (white Anglo Saxon Protestant)
Immigrants often moved to cities and lived with people from their own country so ‘ghettos’
(an area of a city where a minority group live) developed.
A belief that ‘new immigrants’ would take jobs and work for low wages.
Immigrants blamed for crime / drunkenness / prostitution
WWI caused opposition to German immigrants + made USA want to keep away from Europe.
‘Old immigrants’ like the Germans and Irish looked down on ‘new immigrants’ from e.g. Italy
Fear immigrants would bring dangerous ‘communist’ beliefs
Intolerance of Asians, Catholics and Jews.
Immigrants were also often poor, and could not speak English read or write
How did the government restrict immigration?
1917 - Literacy Test
Had to pass a test to prove they could read and write
Many poor immigrants were not education and so could not enter the USA
Banned all immigrants from Asia
Charged an immigration fee of $8
1921 – Emergency Quota Act
Set up quotas only 3% of the total of any European group already in the USA in 1910
would be allowed in after 1921.
This had the effect of reducing the number of immigrants from Eastern Europe
1924 – National Origins Act
The quota was reduced to 2% of 1890 numbers.
Further reducing numbers of immigrants from Southern / Eastern Europe and increasing
numbers from Northern Europe
1929 – Immigration Act
Limited immigration to 150,000 a year
No Asians at all
Northern and Western Europeans to be 85% of immigrants
The ‘open door’ policy had become a ‘closed door’
There was a growing fear of immigrants and racial tension
Measures to make immigrants ‘Americans’
‘Americanisation day’ rallies gave people a chance to show their loyalty to the USA
Ceremonies were held in schools for example.
Courses on politics and democracy were run to prepare immigrants for a citizenship
1. People wanted to emigrate (move) to America to be free and get jobs / it
was the land of opportunity. They wanted to escape poverty in Europe
2. America let them in - it had an ‘open door’
3. ‘Old immigrants’ from example Britain felt ‘new immigrants’ would take
their jobs and work for low wages, and blamed them for crime /
drunkenness / communism
4. Racism / intolerance to ‘new immigrants’ from Eastern/Southern Europe
5. The government ‘closed the door’ to stop immigration
1917 Literacy test / 1921 emergency quota act / 1924 National origins
act / 1929 Immigration act
All acts reduced numbers of Eastern Europeans especially that could
Why was there a fear of political extremism?
THE RED SCARE
The ‘red scare’ was the extreme fear of many Americans of communism
They feared a communist revolution – like the one that had happened in Russia
Many Americans believed in ‘rugged individualism’. The idea that people were
responsible for their own lives
Communism was the opposite of ‘rugged individualism’ the government took control of
land / money / property.
Any threat to the US capitalist system had to be stopped.
Many felt immigrants brought communist ideas to America
This caused xenophobia – a fear of foreigners
Americans saw any new ideas like anarchism and radicalism as communist
There were 3600 strikes in 1919
Against low pay and poor working conditions
Even the police went on strike in Boston
There was a general strike in Seattle led by ‘Industrial workers of the world’
MANY FELT THE STRIKES WERE THE
START OF A COMMUNIST REVOLUTION
Many Americans believed a communist revolution could happen in
America because of the following;
A large number of strikes
A Communist revolution in Russia
Growth of communist party in America
Lots of immigrants from Eastern Europe (near Russia)
Bombings by extreme groups in 1919
o The home of Mitchell Palmer the Head of the US department of Justice was bombed
o A bomb in a church killed 10 people
o Letter bombs posted to 10 famous Americans
Press increased fear of communism
Police attacked communist parades on May day 1920
Many innocent people were arrested / communists, Jews, blacks and Catholics
These arrests became known as the ‘Palmer raids’ - The raids were illegal
6000 possible communists were arrested
Several hundred Russians were sent back on a ship called the ‘Soviet Ark’
It was a reaction to an imaginary threat most immigrants came to the USA to start
a new life not to cause a revolution and destroy the country.
Why was the Sacco and Vanzetti case
1920 two Italian immigrants Sacco and Vanzetti were arrested for
They were found guilty
There was demonstrations all over America in support of them
They appealed but were executed on the electric chair
The evidence against them was not strong 107 people confirmed there alibi (61
witnesses said they committed murder)
Some believe forensic evidence was rigged
Several other men confessed to the crime
The judge seemed determined to find them guilty
The trial showed the intolerance
of the USA / racism
They were found guilty because
of their immigrant background
and political beliefs
It showed the unfairness of the
US legal system – they were
convicted on flimsy evidence
In 1970 a judge agreed a mistrial
had taken place and pardoned
SUMMARY RED SCARE
Red scare = A fear of the communists / a communist revolution in
1. Strikes increased the fear and so did bomb scares
2. Palmer raids illegally arrested lots of communists and sent some
of them back to Russia
3. Sacco and Vanzetti were found guilty of murder and executed
largely because they were Italian immigrants and communists.
PALMER RAIDS AND SACCO AND VANZETTI CASE SHOWS
INTOLERANCE IN THE USA IN THE 1920S
Was America a country of religious and
racial intolerance during the 1920s?
Was America a country of religious intolerance?
In the 1920s most Americans who lived in the countryside were very
The South – East states (including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and
Tennessee) had the name the ‘Bible Belt’
Many people in these areas were
‘fundamentalist’ they believed
everything the bible said was true
People in the ‘bible belt’ did not like short skirts, gambling, dancing
Their views were very different from people’s views in the cities of America
The Monkey Trial
The fundamentalist ‘bible belt’ Christians did not like Charles
Darwin’s theory of evolution being taught in schools.
The state of Tennessee based the ‘butler act’ which made teaching evolution illegal
Biology teacher John Scopes ignored the law taught
evolution and was put on trial
The trial was known as the ‘monkey trial’ –because it was about the idea that
humans came from monkeys
Darrow defend Scopes and Bryan was the prosecutor
Scopes was found guilty and fined $100
The case ended up making the religious fundamentalists look silly and like they
wanted to stop free speech.
What was the experience of black Americans?
Black people had been brought to America as slaves. Slavery was ended in the 1860’s
There were more blacks than whites in the South and the whites were afraid of this so they
wanted to control them and make sure that blacks would NEVER BE EQUAL to WHITES
In the South life was made very difficult for black people.
The South introduced Jim
The laws SEGREGATED (separated)
black people from whites so they had to
use separate or separate sections of
buses, trains, theatres, hospitals and
When black people argued that this was
unconstitutional, the SUPREME COURT of the USA
ruled that segregation was legal as long as facilities
were equal. They weren’t of course, but this was
often difficult to prove or ignored.
Black people’s lives in the South – they faced discrimination
Not treated fairly – they were always worse off than white people
Had worst jobs
Had a poor education
Whites controlled them with fear and terror
Between 1915-1922 more than 430 black Americans were
lynched (murdered by the KKK)
They were stopped from voting by literacy tests and having to pay a tax
Many black people worked as sharecroppers. Sharecropping was a system designed to keep black workers as virtual slaves
after the Civil War. Black people ‘rented’ their farms, farming equipment, seeds etc off white landowners at extortionate
rates. When the harvest came in the black farmer got money the money for part of his crops – a half or a third. The rest went
to the white landowner. Once the cost of the farm, equipment, seeds etc were deducted, the back family ended up in
permanent debt to the white landowner; virtual slavery.
Migration to the North
Due to racism and poverty in the South thousands of black American’s
moved to the cities in the North hoping to find a better life.
There was no segregation laws in most of the North of America
1916-20 almost 1 million blacks moved north this is known as ‘ the
However – things not much better in the North
Blacks still did lower paid jobs - They were the last hired and the first fired
They often lived in ‘ghettos’. In New York and Chicago they often lived in poorer housing
than whites but paid higher rents
They still faced racial intolerance
They had a poorer education and health care
They did not benefit from the boom in the 1920s
Northern whites did not like the arrival of Southern blacks fearing they would take their jobs
There was race riots in 20 US cities eg Chicago where 38 died and 537 injured
Some Improvements for blacks
In Chicago and New York a growing black middle class
In Chicago in 1930 blacks boycotted department stores until they agreed to employ
Jazz music brought fame to some black singers eg Louis Armstrong
The black area of New York, Harlem became the centre of the ‘Harlem Renaissance’
for black singers, musicians, artists, writers and poets
Black theatre / comedians / dancers were popular
Life expectancy for blacks increased from 45 in 1900 to 48 in 1930
What was the Klu Klux Klan (KKK)?
Set in the 1860’s after the American Civil war
Aim to terrorise the blacks who had just been freed from slavery
It grew in size after the film ‘Birth of a Nation’ in 1915 which showed the KKK saving white families from gangs of
blacks trying to rape them and steal their property.
Reaction to growth of immigrants also increased membership
All members were WASPS (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants)
They believed whites were better than / superior too other races
They were against blacks, communists, Jews, Catholics and all foreigners
Dressed in white sheets wore white hoods
o To hide the identity of the member – who often
attacked people at night
o To show whites were superior
Members carried American flags
Lit burning crosses at night
Their leader was Hiram Wesley Evans – known as Imperial Wizard
Officers of the Klan were called Klaliffs, Kluds or Klabees
1920 – 100,000 members
By 1925 possible 5 million members
Most members in the south
State governors of Oregon and Oklahoma were members of the Klan
Membership increased due to;
o Growth of immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe eg Italy
o Blacks moving into Northern cities
o Whites hatred of Blacks being armed to fight in WWI
Lynching black people, beating people up, mutilating
They stripped some of their victims and put tar and
feathers on their bodies
o 1921 Chris Lochan restaurant owner ran out of town for
having Greek parents
o George Arnwood, mentally ill black man 1933 accused of
assaulting 82 white woman – Klan dragged from jail, beat him
to death, body strung up on a tree then dragged through the
town and set on fire. The police watched and did nothing.
Decline of the KKK
Declined after 1925 when one of its leader’s Grand Wizard
David Stephenson was found guilty of rape and mutilation of a
woman on a train.
He produced evidence of illegal Klan activities.
Membership fell to a few thousand members by 1928
Why was no action taken against the
Many politicians knew if they said anything against the Klan they
would lose white votes.
Members often had friends in key government jobs
The Klan had lots of support in some towns.
Police were often Klan members / supporters
Fear of violence / Klan intimidation
The Black population tries to fight back
National Association for the Advancement of
Coloured people (NAACP)
Set up by William Du Bois in 1909/10
Wanted equal opportunities for all
By 1919 had 300 branches, 90,000 members
Made more aware of their right to vote
Campaigned against lynching – which failed to pass a law against it but
reduced numbers being carried out due to publicity.
Universal Negro Improvement Society (UNIA)
Set up by Marcus Garvey
Believed blacks should not try and be part of white society.
Should celebrate being black and African history
Slogan was ‘Back to Africa’ - believed blacks should return to Africa
By 1920 2,000 members, at its peak 25,000
In 1925 Marcus Garvey was put in prison for fraud and movement fell apart.
N.B idea taken up by Black Power Movement in 1960’s
Booker T Washington former slave set up Tuskegee Institution to train/educate blacks
Paul Robinson a black lawyer who could not find work became famous in Showboat and Othello
Countee Cullen unusually went to New York Uni and became a famous black poet attacking racism
How were Native Americans (Indians) treated?
Around 1900 Native Americans had been placed on
The land was poor quality and there not enough animals to hunt.
Most had a hard life without enough rations to eat and poor housing
Native American’s only seen by whites demonstrating Indian crafts,
languages or costume
Thousands of Native American children were taken and forced to
go to boarding schools and learn ‘white culture’ and forget
everything that was Indian. They had to speak English and become
It was an attempt to
In 1924 –Indian Citizenship Act – gave full US
citizenship to Native Americans - they called
this the ‘Indians Act’. They could vote, but
they still had to live on reservations and
In 1928 a report showed this education policy
had failed and that Indian should be taught
about Indian and white society.
SUMMARY – OF INTOLERANCE
o Religious fundamentalists, in the Bible belt did not like how America was
modernising, believed in every word in the bible and were against Darwin’s
theory of evolution.
o John Scopes, a teacher was put on trial in Trial for teaching evolution
o The Monkey trial was a debate between science and religion.
o He was found guilty, but the try made religious people look silly and against
freedom of thought.
o Jim Crow laws= Segregated blacks in schools, hospitals, swimming pools
o There was a ‘great migration’ by blacks to Northern Cities
o But blacks still faced racism and poverty in North, did worst jobs, lowest
paid, lived in ghettos (tension with whites caused race riots in 20 cities)
o Some improvements were made by blacks in the 1920s e.g. growing middle
class and Harlem Renaissance, Jazz (Louis Armstrong)
o NAACP –National Association for Advancement of Coloured People
o Led by W D Bois, Fought against lynching’s, segregation
o UNIA – Universal Negro Improvement Association
o Led by Marcus Garvey wanted Blacks to go back to Africa
o Ku Klux Klan – WASP (white Anglo Saxon Protestant) members
o Wore white robes, carried American flag, had burning crosses at night
meetings, terrorised blacks, Jews, communists carried out lynching.
o Membership grew in 1920s maybe up to 5 million members till
Stephenson one of its leaders found guilty of rape.
o little was done about KKK violence as had police / politician members
and lots of support in the South. Politicians were afraid of losing white
votes if spoke against KKK
o Forced to live like whites on reservations
o Lived in poverty
o Attempt to ‘Americanise’ them
o Their children were taken away and sent to white boarding schools, to be
taught to live like whites and be Christians
o In 1924 became US citizens and could vote – but still faced racism.
Prohibition and Crime
Why was Prohibition introduced?
During the 19th century many groups
supported the idea of prohibition (banning)
o The Women’s Christian
Temperance Union (1873)
o The Anti-Saloon League (1895)
o These groups were very powerful and
made prohibition an important political
They argued that;
o Alcohol was linked to wife beating
and child abuse
o Henry Ford and other business men were
concerned it reduced the amount of work
o Many religious groups saw alcohol as a sin
and linked to the devil
o Felt prohibition would support good family
values of God fearing Americans
o Prohibition would help immigrants follow
World War I – was key to bringing in prohibition
o Many beers were ‘German, and many brewers German
o Anti-Saloon league argued drinking beer was Anti-
o The beer was given the nickname ‘Kaisers Brew’
The introduction of Prohibition
The Prohibition amendment (18th amendment) which stopped the
‘manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors was
passed by Congress in Jan 1919 – The ban on alcohol would
actually start in 1920
The law did not ban the buying of drinking of alcohol
In 1920 Congress passed the Volstead Act which said that
intoxicating liquor contained more than 0.5% alcohol.
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) became responsible for
What were the effects of Prohibition on US society?
It became impossible to stop people drinking.
They did it illegally. Huge numbers broke the law
Many ordinary people went to a ‘speakeasy’ and illegal bar,
but they did not feel like they were really breaking the law.
It was never hard to buy drink during prohibition
Organised crime (gangsters) provided the alcohol most
people still wanted to drink.
Corruption amongst police and judges increased
Prohibition key terms
Speakeasy – illegal drinking saloon / pub
Bootlegger – someone who produced or sold alcohol illegally
Bathtub gin – home brewed gin
Still – a thing used to make alcohol
Moonshine – illegally made or smuggled alcohol
Rum runner – someone who illegally transports alcohol across the border
Smuggling – Rum Runners
Alcohol was smuggled from Europe, Mexico, Canada and the
The USA has 30,000 km of borders if was difficult to stop
It was even possible to find doctors who would ‘prescribe’
There were more speakeasies than there had been legal saloons/pubs before prohibition
In New York alone more than 30,000 speakeasies by 1930
In order to run a speakeasy the owner had to;
o Buy illegal alcohol
o Pay off federal agents, senior police, city officials and police on the beat
The amount of alcohol drank did fall during prohibition - Male deaths from liver problems fell
But as alcohol was illegal people often drank poisoned alcohol which caused blindness and
Why did prohibition come to an end?
It was never possible to enforce this law (prohibition Commissioner John F Kramer
was appointed in 1921, in 1924 FBI set up under J Edgar Hoover)
Most American’s were willing to break this law
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had only 2,500 agents and some of them were paid
hands of the gang leaders
o Most Famous IRS leader – Eliot Ness who arrested Al Capone
Making and selling alcohol illegally created huge profits. This went to criminals.
They could use this money to bribe police and officials
People were worried by the increasing violence, especially after the St Valentines
Women now highlighted the new
alcohol related problems
Many felt if prohibition was ended the
brewing industry would create legal
Taxes would be paid on buying and
selling drink – helping with the
In 1933 Roosevelt Ended Prohibition
What was the era of the Gangsters?
There were gangs before prohibition but they grew rapidly in size and power in the 1920s
Prohibition gave gangsters the opportunity to make big money by bootlegging etc.
Gangs bought hundreds of breweries and transported illegal alcohol in armoured lorries
If rival gangs threatened their business – they dealt with them violently
Gangs were also involved in ‘rackets’ such as prostitution, gambling, protection and illegal
New York was controlled by Dutch Schultz and Detroit by Chester La Mare
Their favourite weapon was the Thompson sub-machine gun
Al Capone was the most famous gangster
Son of an Italian immigrant, left school early and became a small time
Got the nickname ‘Scarface’
In 1917 he joined Johnny Torrio gang and rose up to take over the gang in
He bribed local officials – he had ½ the cities employees on his pay role
He even controlled the Mayor ‘Big Bill’ Thompson and senior police men
He fixed local elections
In Chicago he controlled;
o Speakeasies / nightclubs
o Bookmakers / gambling joints
o Brothels / prostitutes
o Horse and race tracks
o Distilleries and breweries
He drove a bullet proof Cadillac, and had armed guards with machine guns
He had more than 200 rivals killed 1925-29
He was seen by many as a glamorous person, mixed with famous people and put Chicago ‘on the map’
He was the first to open soup kitchens after the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and he
ordered stores to give clothes and food to the needy at his own expense.
He was involved in the St Valentine’s day massacre
o Bugs Moran the leader of a rival gang escaped death but 7 of his men
were machine-gunned down in a garage by Capone’s men who were
dressed as police men.
o Al Capone was in Florida with a perfect alibi
o This event made American’s realise what gangsters and
prohibition was really like.
In 1931 Capone was arrested for tax evasion ($200,000)
What was the extent of Government
Corruption and Scandal?
President Harding and the ‘Ohio Gang’
There was corruption in cities and in the government in
Washington in the 1920s.
o President Harding surrounded himself with friends from
Ohio who got given the nickname the ‘Ohio gang’ –they
included Harry Daugherty and Albert Fall
Some of Harding’s friends used their positions to get rich by
The head of the veterans hospital supplies was selling the supplies off at a profit
2 of the ‘Ohio gang’ committed suicide rather than face the public scandal
Teapot Dome Scandal
Disgraced President Harding and his government even more
Albert Fall leased government oil fields to wealthy friends for hundreds
of thousands of dollars in bribes. The oil fields were meant to be used for the US navy
Harry Sinclair got a lease to drill for oil at ‘Teapot Dome’
o Edward Doheny got a lease to drill at Elk Hills
Albert Fall began spending lots of money and suspicions grew . He had got $409,000
Some of the details were published in newspapers. The President defended Albert Fall.
There was an outcry from many oil companies who were not able to get the leases.
Harding became distressed and ill and did in Aug 1923.
Coolidge restored slowly faith in the government
In 1927 Albert Fall was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to prison.
o Harry Sinclair also sentenced to prison
o Harry Daugherty was accused of obstructing justice and forced to resign.
SUMMARY –PROHIBITION, CRIME AND
Reasons why Prohibition was introduced
o Work of Anti-Saloon League and Women’s Christian Temperance Union
o Felt workers would work better if sober
o Drink blamed for crime, wife beating, child abuse, poverty
o Alcohol was seen as a sin by religious people
o World War I made German beer very unpopular
1919 – 18th Amendement banned ‘intoxicating liquor’ to come into force in 1920
Volstead Act – said ‘intoxicating liquor’ had more than 0.5% alcohol
Impact of Prohibition
o People broke the law and kept drinking
o Drank in Speakeasies – illegal bars. 30,000 in New York alone in 1930.
o Gangsters provided the illegal drink and made lots of money
o Rum runners brought in alcohol from Mexico and Canada / Moonshine – was
alcohol that was made illegally / Bootleggers – sold or produced illegal drink
o People died from drinking poisoned alcohol
o People did drink less during prohibition
o The law was impossible to enforce. Not enough IRS agents.
o Bribery / corruption paid off police and officials to turn a blind eye to law
o Rapid growth in the power of gangsters, who controlled illegal drink
trade, and rackets like prostitution, protection, gambling
o Most famous gangster Al Capone (Scarface) in Chicago
o Italian immigrant family, joined Torrio’s gang and worked his way to top
o Bribed local officials (1/2 cities employees including the mayor)
o Drove bullet proof Cadillac with armed guards
o Killed more than 20 rivals
o Mixed with famous people / and set up soup kitchens to help the poor
o Responsible for St Valentines Massacre – 7 men from rival gang were
shot dead by his gang who were dressed as police officers (Al Capone
himself was in Florida)
o Arrested for tax invasion in 1931
o Prohibition failed and ended in 1933 due to increasing violence / gangs
o Government Corruption under President Harding increased.
o Some of ‘Ohio gang’ Harding’s friends took bribes. Including the ‘teapot
dome’ scandal. When Albert Fall took bribes to lease oil fields to companys.
SECTION B THE RISE AND FALL OF
THE AMERICAN ECONOMY
Must know - KEY WORDS
o Prosperity = wealth / affluence / success / richness / fortune
o US Economy = everything to do with money in the US- factories, goods,
businesses, industry, jobs, products made and bought
o Economic boom = A time when there are lots of jobs
o When a lot of people felt rich and made money
o When there was rapid development
o When factories make and sell a lot of goods
o There was a dramatic rise in the value of stocks and shares on the US
Consumerism = growing demand for everyday- often household goods
What were the causes of the economic boom?
In the 1920s America had an economic boom
When a company makes and sells a lot of goods it has the money to invest in a
bigger factory and more employees to make and sell even more goods.
The growth of one industry benefits other industries.
o The growth of the car industry meant the growth of the rubber and glass
o The growth of electricity stimulated the growth of electrical products like
vacuum cleaners and fridges.
o The growth of the car industry led to a boom in road building and made it easier to
transport new goods
o The growth of all industries created a demand for more factories helping the building
How did America’s assets and development contribute
to the economic boom? - What caused the economic boom of the 1920s?
o The USA had lots of oil, coal, wood and iron
o These could be used to help economic growth
Cheap labour force
o Immigrants from Europe provided lots of cheap unskilled labour
Impact of World War I
o The USA did not enter WW I till 1917 and gained a lot from the war in Europe
o By 1918 the USA was the world’s leading economy.
o The war weakened the economies of Britain, France and Germany
o Britain and France bought supplies (food munitions) from the USA during the war.
This led to a growth of US industry and farming
o Many countries borrowed lots of money from the USA and American bankers made
money from there repayments in the 1920s
o During the war European countries could not export goods, so the USA took over their export markets.
o The USA led the world in new technology, the war stimulated mechanisation eg the development of new raw
materials like plastics.
o By 1929 most homes in cities had electricity
o Nearly 70% of Americans had electric lights
o The amount of electricity consumed doubled in the 1920s
o This meant a demand for a huge range of consumer goods
o Washing machines
o Vacuum cleaners
o The growth of these new industries helped stimulate further growth of the US economy.
o The USA led the world in technology
o The conveyor belt and mass production techniques (Henry Ford and the assembly line)
used in the car industry increased the speed of industrial
o Improved productivity increased profits.
o These methods were then used in other industries e.g. the
production of bicycles and typewriters.
o Other developments included
o Plastics like Bakelite
o Glass tubing
o Concrete mixers
o As profits went up so wages went up (but not by as much as profits)
o This meant workers could buy –often on credit (hire purchase) – consumer goods
o Adverts and new radio commercials encouraged people to buy more goods
o Electricity encouraged people to buy new consumer goods as well
o People could buy on mail order
o The growth of credit made it easy for people to buy goods even when they did not
have the money
o Half the goods sold in the 1920s were on ‘hire purchase’ – you made for them in instalments.
o In the 1920s people felt very confident and therefore bought goods often on hire purchase
o Rather than save they ‘spent, spent, spent’
o The main aim was to have a house filled with consumer goods e.g. fridges, hoovers
Growth of the stock market
o The value of stocks and shares rose a lot in the 1920s
o Normal working people bought and sold shares
o In 1929 there were more than 1 billion shares sold. Up to 25 million Americans were involved in a frenzy of
share dealing in a ‘bull market’ on ‘Wall Street’
o Buying stocks and shares seemed an attractive gamble
o People could make a lot of money
o Frequently investors borrowed money to buy shares to ‘buy on the margin’
o They were so confident that the value of the shares would increase.
How did the attitudes and polices of the Republican
Presidents contribute to the economic boom?
In the 1920s all the presidents were Republicans. They were;
o Warren Harding 1921-23
o Calvin Coolidge 1923-29
o Herbert Hoover 1929-33
They all believed in very similar ideas. Coolidge was a self-made millionaire he was the
Republican’s best example of what could be achieved by hard work and little government
interference. They believed in similar things;
o The belief that the government should be involved as little as
possible in the economy.
o If business men are left alone then you will get high profits and
o Laissez-faire helped the boom – low taxes and few
regulations meant - business men could chase profits without
worrying about government interference.
o The belief that people achieved success by their own hard work.
o You should be like the first American’s make a life for yourself by your own hard
o It is not the job of the government to help people.
o A reduction in income tax meant people had more money to spend on consumer goods.
o The government wanted to be ‘isolated’ from Europe after World War I
o They Republicans put taxes or tariffs on imported goods.
o This meant foreign goods would always cost more to buy
o This protected homemade American producers
o It encouraged American’s to buy American goods
o The Fordney-McCumber Tariff 1922 raised import duties on goods
coming into the USA to the highest level ever.
How did Prosperity affect the American society?
Why was there an increase in demand for consumer goods?
Growth in women working increased demand for labour saving products eg vacuums and
By 1927 2/3 USA had electricity – increased demand for electrical goods
Hire-purchase made it easy to buy things on credit
Popularity of entertainment meant people bought more radios and gramophones
Most worker’s wages increased (1923-19 up 8% on average) so had more spare money to
spend on consumer goods.
What were the features of the new consumer society?
The advertising industry grew quickly in the 1920s
Magazine adverts were the main method, but radio and cinema adverts also
Women were used in many adverts and were also targets for adverts
They got more sophisticated with catchphrase
Electrical goods and household appliances
By 1929 most homes in US cities had electricity
This led to growth in sales of vacuum cleaners, radios,
gramophones, telephones, washing machines and fridges.
1926 Hoover introduced the famous ‘beats-as-it-sweeps-as-it-cleans’
o In 1920 just 9% of people owned a vacuum cleaner by 1930 30% did.
1927 General electrics ‘monitor-top’ refrigerator was the 1st widely used
o In 1920 just 1% of people owned a fridge this had increased to 8% by 1930
Department stores / supermarkets
The USA was the 1st country in the world to have a supermarket
o J C Penney opened a chain of super markets called Piggy Wiggly
o People paid for goods at a check out rather than people served at a shop
1920s saw the growth of department stores.
What was the influence of the car industry?
The car industry played a very important role in the
boom of the 1920s – BOOM
o It often led the way in technological changes
o Its growth stimulated the growth of other
In 1903 Henry Ford an engineer formed the Ford Motor
company in Detroit
In 1908 he introduced the ‘Model T Ford’ known as the
Ford only manufactured one standard model ‘any colour as long as it was black’ this
reduced costs and made him more profit.
The Assembly Line
In 1913 Ford introduced an efficient method of making cars the ‘assembly line’ or ‘magic
belt’ the ‘conveyor belt’
Workers stood in one spot doing the same job over and over, and the parts came to them.
This was much more efficient.
In 1913 a the Ford factory produced 1 car every 3 minutes by 1920 it made one every 10
Working on an assembly line was boring
So to keep workers Ford doubled wages to $5 a day – far more than other jobs
Workers rushed to Detroit to work for him
People worked in 8 hour shifts and the factory produced cars
24 hours a day
Fords methods meant he could also charge less for his cares –
so most American’s could afford them.
In 1914 a Model T cost $850 by 1926 it cost only $295
Ford also led the way in using hire purchase as a form of credit
– you could buy now pay later.
Ford used modern advertising techniques
He used attractive women in adverts to encourage men to buy
his cars – and to promote them to female drivers.
The Impact of the Model T
Ford and his Model t started an enormous growth in car ownership
By 1925 ½ the worlds cars were Model Ts
The Ford River Rouge Factory, in Michigan, became the biggest factory complex in the world,
employing 80,000 workers
Fords production methods were so effective they were copied by Citroen, Renault, Morris
Other car firms were Chrysler and General Motors
Other benefits of the car industry
So much steel, wood, petrol, rubber, leather were used by the car industry it provided jobs for 5
million more people
By the late 1920s cars/ car industry was using 90% of petrol, 80% of rubber 75% of glass in the
It helped hire purchase become a way of life in the 1920s
It encouraged road building and travel – which led to motels, restaurants being built in new out
of the way places
People could now live in the ‘suburbs’ and drive to work
Farmers were no longer as isolated
By mid 1920s in US 1 in every 5 people had a car in the UK it was only 1 in every 43 people
Which other industries experienced a boom?
Transport - BOOM
By 1930 the total length of road had doubled
The number of trucks on the road had increased x3
Aircraft flights 1st appeared in the 1920s
o Lindbergh was the 1st person to fly across the
o Increased the rapid development of commercial aviation
Construction / building industry - boom
Economic growth led to greater demand for buildings of all sorts
– department stores, factories, houses in the suburbs, offices
Rapid growth in offices for – rapid growth of banks, insurance
Skyscrapers altered New York
o In 1931 the Empire State building was completed with 102
stories and stole the record of being the tallest building
from the Chrysler building
o These buildings showed Americas success
The growth of the building industry created jobs such as making
bricks, glass, furniture and electrical goods.
Which groups did not gain from the boom?
Not all industries boomed in the 1920s
Not all people benefited from the boom
Farmers – NO BOOM
Combine harvesters made American farming the most efficient in the world
During World War I they sold their crops to the Europeans
After the world they were producing far more food than they needed
o Europeans started growing their own food again
o Canadians, Australian farmers became growing lots of grain
This meant food prices fell
As famers income fell, many found it difficult to pay their
o Some were evicted (lost their farms)
o Some had to become ‘sharecroppers’ – a tenant farmer
who has to give a share of the crop to the landlord as rent
o In 1924 600,000 farmers went bankrupt
o Other farmers borrowed huge sums of money from the
banks if they could.
o The number of farmer workers fell
Old Industries – Coal – NO BOOM
Old industries like the coal industry declined.
Demand for US coal fell because of;
o Oil replacing it
o Growth of electricity
o More foreign competition (cheap coal from Poland)
Lots of mines closed and miners made redundant. Or miners had to work
less hours. Many went on strike for more pay and better conditions.
Strikes were rarely successful
By 1929 miners wage on average $100
o A bricklayer in New York could earn $300.
Old Industries – railways – NO BOOM
Railways declined because of the growth of the car industry and roads
Railways could not compete with cheap cars and cheap petrol
Old Industries – Textiles (cotton/wool) – NO BOOM
The textile industry declined because of;
Competition from abroad
New products like – RAYON (man-made fibres) were cheaper
Women’s fashion changed, dresses became much shorter they needed
a 1/3 less material to make
Cotton mills either closed or paid low wages ($13 a week in the South)
This caused strikes in this industry.
Black American’s – NO BOOM
10% of population black – most were badly off in the 1920s
¾ million black farm workers lost their jobs in the 1920s
Many went North to find work
Car factories would only hire a small number of blacks so
had whites only policies
Blacks in North still the lowest paid / worst jobs
In New York – Harlem – a black district was overcrowded /
ghetto community – many people had to sleep in beds in
Immigrants – NO BOOM
New immigrants faced discrimination
Lots of new immigrants meant wages were kept low in jobs like working on construction sites
Unemployment rate among new immigrants remained high
Trade Unions -DECLINE
Trade union power declined in the 1920s
o In 1919 3600 strikes, 21% of work force went on strike
o In 1929 900 strikes only, 1.2% of work force went on strike
Union membership fell because
o Of the boom, people had less reason to join a union
o ‘American Plan’ against trade unions seen as un American and against ‘rugged
o Bosses used ‘red scare’ to like trade unions to communism
o Republican government was against trade unions
o Bosses could use violence to break a strike
o Bosses could refuse to employ union members
o Trade Unions were banned from the car industry
Why did the prosperity come
to a sudden end in 1929?
Prosperity = wealth / success / richness / fortune / affluence
In 1929 the American stock market on Wall Street crashed. The good times
The effects of this were disastrous in America and in Europe especially
In America banks went bankrupt – people lost all their money, there was
depression and high unemployment, people lost their homes.
What were the long term reasons for
the end of prosperity?
Factories had had produced more goods e.g. cars than
American’s could afford to buy
Foreign countries put taxes on American goods so they could not be sold abroad
When sales fell, bosses cut wages and prices
When this did not work they sacked workers
Fewer workers, with less money to buy goods – so factories had to costs even more
Falling demand for consumer goods
The wealth in the boom years was not shared equally, 50% of American’s
lived in poverty. They could not afford to buy consumer goods.
There was a limit to what people with money would want to buy.
European countries owed America money and could not afford to buy US goods as they were
finding it hard to repay the loans
The US had put tariffs (taxes) on imported goods, foreign countries responded and put taxes
on US imports so US business men found it hard to sell their goods abroad.
Boom in land and property values
The price of land and property rose quickly in the boom years
Some people borrowed a lot to buy property especially in Florida
In 1926 land values started to fall in Florida
People had ‘negative equity’ property worth less than they had paid for it.
What were the short term reasons for the end
Over-speculation on the stock market
Speculation = buying something (e.g. shares) that is risky (because its value
can fall as well as increase) because it has the potential to make you a lot of
During the 1920s more and more Americans bought shares - Prices kept rising
In 1928 shares did not rise as much, as company profits fell as they were selling less goods.
There was a drop in confidence in the market
However, prices started to rise again, greed took over, and speculation started again
The lack of government regulation encouraged more speculation – Republican
presidents believed in Laissez-Faire (the government doing very little, and not getting involved in business)
In 1925 the value of stocks was $27
By 1929 it had reached $87
In 1929 there were 20 million share holders in the US
Credit made it easy for people to buy goods they could not afford to buy on the spot
They made in instalments on hire purchase
There bought shares on hire purchase (on the margin)
This worked as long as prices only went up – if prices fell it caused a problem
75% of shares were paid for using borrowed money – this also made the price of shares
increase too much.
What were the events of the Wall Street Crash?
In the autumn of 1929 some experts started
to sell their shares heavily
Small investors panicked – they say the fall
in prices – and began to sell their shares,
This led to more panic and the complete
collapse of prices
Thousands of people lost millions of dollars.
Sat 19 Oct 1929
3.5 million shares were bought and sold. Prices beginning to
fall. Start of Panic.
Mon 21 Oct 1929
More selling. 6 million shares bought and sold. Prices going
up and down a lot
Tues 22 Oct 1929
All seems well, prices recover a bit
Wed 23 Oct 1929
More panic. 5 million shares are sold in the last hour of the day’s
trading. More and more people are trying to sell.
Thurs 24th October 1929 – ‘Black Thursday’
A terrible day on Wall Street
Prices fall quickly
People rush to sell their shares
Nearly 13 million shares bought and sold
Fri 25th Oct 1929
Bankers save the day- they met at midday to support the market.
Sat 26th Oct 1929
Hoover speaks to tell Americans the panic is over, and that business and banking will soon
Mon 28th Oct 1929
Heavy selling on the stock market.
Almost 3 million shares sold in the last hour of the day.
Dramatic fall in prices
Tues 29th October 1929 –‘Black Tuesday’
Worst ever day on the stock market
Nearly 16.5 million shares traded
Shares lost all value
Many shareholders lost everything.
What were the immediate effects of the Wall
By the end of 1929 there were about 2.5 million unemployed. This was 5% of the workforce.
Confidence had ended – people stopped spending money
Fewer and fewer consumer goods were bought – the amount halved 1929 -1933
Unemployment started to grow quickly
The USA became a land of
o Bread queues
o Soup kitchens
o Homeless people (they had been evicted) living on the streets
o Hobo’s – thousands of men travelling around the country hitching rides on
railcars and freight wagons
o Employers started sacking even more workers
o People who could find work had to work for lower wages
o The economy spiralled down
The economic depression was not caused by the crash.
The causes of the crash are key to understanding what was wrong with the
The crash however, did speed up the depression.
The effects of the depression were a disaster for America
Banks went bust
People who had saved in banks were bankrupt – had nothing
Workers lost their jobs
No credit was available – banks would no longer loan money
Loans were called in
Farmers were hit hard
Popular slogan –‘In Hoover we trusted now we are busted.’
SUMMARY – CAUSES OF THE BOOM
1. USA HAD LOTS OF COAL, IRON, WOOD, OIL (RAW MATERIALS)
2. USA HAD LOTS OF IMMIGRANTS WHO WORKED FOR LOW PAY
3. WORLD WAR 1
USA GAINED AS EUROPE HAD A WAR
USA MADE LOANS TO EUROPE
WAR LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGY E.G.
WAR INCREASED MECHANISATION / MASS PRODUCTION
FARMERS SOLD CROPS TO EUROPE
4. SPREAD ELECTRICITY – INCREASED DEMAND FOR CONSUMER GOODS
E.G. FRIDGES, VACUUM CLEANERS, RADIOS, WASHING MACHINES
5. TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE – PLASTIC, SKYSCRAPERS
6. MASS PRODUCTION / PRODUCTION LINE / ASSEMBLY LINE
CONVEYOR BELTS (Ford) – led to cheaper goods
7. CARS AND ROAD BUILDING MADE IT EASIER TO DELIVER GOODS
8. CONSUMERISM DEVELOPED AS WAGES WENT UP
9. CREDIT / HIRE PURCHASE – could buy now pay later
10. CONFIDENCE – PEOPLE SPENT RATHER THAN SAVED
11. DEVELOPMENT OF ADVERTISING TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BUY
12. GROWTH OF THE STOCK MARKET – SHARES ALSO SEEMED TO GO UP
13. SPECULATION – OFTEN BORROWING MONEY TO BUY SHARES AND
14. POLICIES OF THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS (LAISSEZ FAIRE,
RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM, PROTECTIONISM- FORDNEY MCCUMBER
SUMMARY OF THE BOOM
1. GROWTH OF FEMALE EMPLOYMENT
2. WAGES INCREASED (8% 1923-29)
3. ADVERTISING (CATCHPHRASES, ATTRACTIVE WOMEN)
4. GROWTH OF THE NUMBER OF HOMES WITH ELECTRICITY
5. GROWTH CONSUMER GOODS (VACUUM CLEANERS (Hoover), RADIOS,
GRAMOPHONES, TELEPHONES, WASHING MACHINES,
REFRIGERATORS (General Electric – Monitor Top)
6. DEPARTMENT STORES (Piggly Wiggly first super market)
7. GROWTH OF THE CAR INDUSTRY
Henry Ford – Model T / Tin Lizzie – standard model/just black
Boring work so doubled wages to $5 a day, people worked in 8 hour
shifts factory running 24 hours a day
The assembly line – used conveyor belts to make workers more
efficient. They stood in one place doing the same job. Meant Ford
could up wages and reduce cost of cars.
Cars became affordable for most Americans ($295 in 1926)
Used modern advertising e.g. attractive women
By mid 1920s 1 car to every 5 people
Cars led to growth of;
Other industries (rubber, glass, petrol, leather)
Road building, motels, road side restaurants
8. TRANSPORT DEVELOPED – ROADS AND AIRPLANES (Lindbergh)
9. GROWTH BUILDING INDUSTRY (new offices, skyscrapers -Empire state
Not all prosperity! Some did not gain!
1. Farmers – overproduction, led to ruin and poverty, evictions,
2. Black Americans – faced racism and poverty, lowest paid, lived in ghettos
3. Immigrants – faced discrimination / intolerance, low pay
4. Trade Unions – declined due fear communism, no unions in the car industry,
violence against strikes, meant employers could keep wages lower
5. Older industries (coal, textiles, railroad, shipbuilding) declined partly due
to competition from new industries (rayon, petrol, cars)
SUMMARY – END OF THE BOOM
OCTOBER 1929 WALL STREET CRASH – AMERICA ENTERED INTO
DEPRESSION. THIS WAS DUE TO;
1. OVER PRODUCTION – FACTORIES MAKING MORE GOODS THAN PEOPLE
WANTED TO BUY
2. FALLING DEMAND FOR CONSUMER GOODS –
Lots of Americans were too poor to afford them
Europe put Tariffs in place to stop exports
3. BOOM IN LAND VALUES, when this ended it meant people who had
borrowed, had ‘negative equity’ especially in Florida.
4. OVER SPECULATION ON THE STOCK MARKET
Too much belief that prices could only go up
5. EASY CREDIT /HIRE PURCHASE
People bought goods they could not afford at the time
People bought shares ‘on the margin’ – using borrowed money
SUMMARY – EVENTS OF THE WALL
When experts started to sell their shares, small investors panicked and sold
their shares. This caused more panic and more sold their shares. This causes a
complete collapse in the market.
1. October 1929 – Shareholders start to panic
2. Black Thursday -24th October 1929 – prices feel quickly. 13 million shares
bought and sold. A terrible day on Wall Street
3. Bankers and president Hoover step in to try and support market – this seems
4. Black Tuesday – 29th October 1929 – worst day ever on the stock market.
Nearly 16.5 million shares bought and sold.
Shares lost all value.
Many shareholders have lost everything.
SUMMARY - Immediate effects of the
Wall Street Crash
THE DEPRESSION WAS NOT CAUSED BY THE WALL STREET CRASH –
UNDERSTANDING WHAT CAUSED THE WALL STREET CRASH IS
IMPORTANT IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT CAUSED THE DEPRESSION.
BUT THE CRASH DID SPEED UP THE DEPRESSION AND MADE IT WORSE.
1. BANKS WENT BUST
2. PEOPLE LOST ALL THEIR SAVINGS
3. PEOPLE LOST THEIR JOBS - UNEMPLOYMENT GREW
4. WAGES FELL
5. TRAMPS / SOUP KITCHENS APPEARED
6. HOMELESSNESS / PEOPLE LIVED ON STREETS AS BEEN EVICTED
7. HOBO’S TRAVELLED AROUND IN WAGON CARS
8. NO ONE COULD GET CREDIT / LOANS
9. FARMERS BADLY HIT
10. ‘IN HOOVER WE TRUSTED NOW WE ARE BUSTED’
1920s Culture and
1920s are often called the ‘roaring twenties’ – there was rapid social changes.
How did movies and their influence develop?
In 1910 8,000 cinemas. By 1930 303,000 cinemas
Movies had become a popular form of entertainment. Due to
o It’s new, exciting technology
o Movie stars had sex appeal and showed fashions
o People had more leisure time
o Cars made it easy to go to the cinema
o Ticket prices were cheap
o Interesting films that offered escapism (cowboys, romances, adventures)
Silent movies – all films were silent before 1927
o Often lived music was played over them by a pianist
o Fast music for chase scenes, slow for romance
o Nickelodeons were the name for the first cinemas
o Nice seats, whole orchestras were introduced to get larger audiences
o 800 films were made a year in the 1920s
o Popular films / stars were;
Charlie Chaplin / Buster Keaton comedies
Clara Bow romances
Douglas Fairbanks adventures
Westerns and biblical stories
o Stars made huge amounts of money. Chaplin got $1 million for 8 films in 1926. Greta Garbo
earned maybe $5000 dollars a week.
o Before 1910 film actors / actresses names were not shown on the credits
o Then they started to realise the importance of ‘stars’
o Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Rudolf Valentino could attract millions of people to a film.
o Fan magazines were published, people followed the love lives of the stars
o Rudolf Valentino was the first male star with sex appeal, he made women faint, 100,000
people lined the streets at his funeral
o When stars like Mary Pickford or Gloria Swanson had a new hairstyle millions of women
demanded the same look
o 1927 first ‘talkie’ was made (The Jazz Singer)
o Talkies made cinema even more popular
o But silent cinema stars lost their jobs
o By 1930 100 million cinema tickets sold every week
o Warner Brothers, William Fox, MGM famous film studios
o The films studios advertising department kept people interested in the stars love lives, marriages
o After 1913 many film companies moved out of New York to Hollywood California to avoid
being taken to court by Thomas Edison
o Only after WWI did US films dominate the world
o First film in Hollywood was ‘In Old California’ in 1910
o By 1915 most films being made in Los Angeles area
o Paramount, Warner Bros, Columbia had their studios there
o Stars like Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Gloria Swanson moved to Hollywood mansions
o The sex symbols like ‘it girl’ (it meant sex) Clara Bow blamed for lowering morals
o Moral (Hays) code introduced which included no nudity, no long kisses, murder must be
shown as bad, adultery must look wrong, no disgusting film topics, can’t laugh at priests
How did popular music and culture develop?
1920s is known as the Jazz age as it was the popular music of the time
Jazz music had its origins among black slaves
It was often improvised as they could not read music
It used to be called ‘blues’ ‘rag’ ‘boogie woogie’ but whites did not like names taken from black slang
sex words so it was renamed Jazz
Despite its black roots in the 1920s Jazz was popular with white middle class American’s
Some people however, disapproved of Jazz and thought it showed a decline in morals
New York banned Jazz in dance halls but this only made it more exciting
Jazz was a great attraction in speakeasies and nightclubs
Radios brought Jazz into people’s homes
Most famous Jazz venue was the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York
Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong became famous
The impact of the radio
First radio station was KDF in 1920
By 1930 there was 300 radio stations, 40% of homes had a radio
Mass production and credit helped people get radios
Radio allowed people to
o Listen to sporting events
o Listen to Jazz and other music
o Hear advertisements
o Hear the news – know what was happening in America more
o Follow politics
Radio became the main source of family entertainment
First national radio network was NBC (National Broadcasting System)
Radio created sporting heroes like Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey
The impact of the gramophone
In 1921 gramophone sales reached $106 million
The radio destroyed gramophone sales with its free music
When the Wall Street Crash happened that signalled the end of gramophones
Illegal drinking clubs run by gangsters
There was often black musicians playing jazz in them
Speakeasies allowed blacks and whites to mix freely for the first time
Jazz dances became more sexually suggestive, this and mixing with blacks added to some peoples
Gang bosses opened fancy clubs, At Small Paradise in Harlem, waiters danced the Charleston carrying
trays of cocktails
Fred Astaire entertained at the Trocadero
At the Cotton Club Duke Ellington led the band
Before World War I dances were slow and formal
In the 1920s dancing became carefree
Most popular dance was the Charleston, which was very quick
Other dances were
o The black bottom
o Turkey trot
o Chicken scratch
o Bunny hug
o Monkey glide
o The Vampire
The new dances shocked older people
Seen as immoral (too sexy)
A craze for dance marathon’s grew
How did the lifestyle and status of women change in the 1920s?
Women before 1917
Women played no part in politics
Women could not vote
Women did not smoke or drink (not lady like)
Women were chaperoned
Divorce and sex before marriage rare
Wore tight waisted, ankle length dresses
Had long hair tied back
Did not wear makeup
Did not work
Role as mother and housewife
If they did work it was very low paid cleaning, dress making, secretary
Changes after 1917
World War I gave women more opportunities
As men became soldiers women got jobs to help with the war effort
o Some in heavy industry, transport and engineering
90,000 women served in the US armed forces in Europe (as radio electricians, chemists, accountants,
nurses, translators, journalists)
Other women joined YMCA, Red Cross and Salvation Army
War proved women could do jobs as well as men
War encouraged greater freedom for women (smoking, drinking, going out un-chaperoned)
In 1920 women got the vote
Changing social attitudes and Jazz culture
Economic boom provided exciting opportunities for women
Vacuum cleaners, washing machines gave women more time
More women went out to work
Women had more leisure time
Mary Pickford and Clara Bow became famous film stars of silent movies
Mae west, Gloria Swanson became stars of the talkies
These women became role models for women
By 1930 2 million more women worked than in 1920
However, women often did low paid unskilled work
1930 a 1/3 of degrees went to women, but few became professors
Men were paid more than women for doing the same job
Most women stuck to ‘women’s jobs’
Government /supreme court did not support women in getting more pay
However, more women had money of their own
Advertising was often aimed at women
Women were told they should marry and have children
Once married most women did not work
But they had fewer children and lived longer than their mothers
Women were more likely to divorce
1920 women got the vote
Nellie Taylor was elected governor of a state
Bertha lands became mayor of a city
Apart from this women made little impact on politics
There were very few female politicians
Most women had little interest in politics
Women’s movement failed to get women equal rights
Move towards feminism
The women’s movement got the vote
After this possible because of the ‘flapper’ image it became weaker
In the countryside it was often still very traditional
Farmers wives could not afford new labour saving consumer goods
These women experienced little change in the 1920s
Some middle and upper class women living in Northern states challenged the social norms.
They were called flappers
o They were more independent
o Freer in behaviour and appearance
o Had short hair
o Wore makeup
o Wore short skirts
o Wore bright colours
o Smoke and drank in public
o Went to speakeasies
o Went to the cinema
o Went un-chaperoned
o Danced with men in public especially the Charleston
o Listened to new jazz
o Drove cars and motor bikes
o Wore revealing swimming costumes
Joan Crawford an actress was the most famous flapper
o She kissed, danced, smoked in films like ‘Our Modern Maidens’
o Girls tried to copy her
Clara Bow was also a popular flapper the ‘it girl’ and starred in the film ‘It’
Opposition to Flappers
o Flappers were seen as too extreme by many
o Especially disliked in rural areas and by religious people
o Anti-Flirt league formed to criticise flappers
o Some flappers were arrested for wearing revealing clothing (e.g banned swimming costumes)
o Many women lacked the money to follow new flapper trends even if they wanted to
Why did sport and leisure activities grow so much in the 1920s?
o People had more income than ever before
o Cars meant it was easier to enjoy leisure activities
o Sport became important in peoples lives
Really Must know words
Economy Everything to do with money in the US- factories, goods,
businesses, industry, jobs, products made and bought
Prosperity wealth / affluence / success / richness / fortune
Communism / Idea people should be equal, and all land and property should
communist be owned by the government (collectively)
Consumer goods Manufacturer goods that meet a personal need e.g. vacuum
cleaners, washing machines, radios
Economic boom A time when there are lots of jobs / When a lot of people felt
rich and made money / When there was rapid development /
When factories make and sell a lot of goods / There was a
dramatic rise in the value of stocks and shares on the US stock
Credit Money available for borrowing
Prohibition Banning sale and consumption of alcohol (drink)
Must know words
Hire Purchase Credit – you buy make regular payments to pay off the debit
while you use the good you have bought on credit.
Jim Crow Laws Ensured segregation and discrimination of blacks in South of
US (e.g. separate schools and hospitals)
Lynching Person put to death by hanging without a legal trial
NAACP National Association for the advancement of Coloured People.
Set up to achieve better conditions for blacks/
Red Scare After Russian communist revolution in 1917. It was the fear
that immigrants from Eastern Europe would bring idea of a
communist revolution to America
Wall Street Crash 29 October 1929, panic selling of shares leading to depression
Emigrated Moved to a different / new country
Immigrants People who moved to America to live
Intolerance When you refuse to accept ideas / beliefs / people who are
Ku Klux Klan (KKK) White racism group who terrorised blacks
Monkey Trial Trial of John Scopes for illegally teaching evolution in school
Corruption Bad / not honest behaviour by someone like a politician or
police man who has power. Often means they accept bribes.
Soviet Ark Several hundred Russians were sent home on this after the
Palmer Raids Illegal raids against communists led by Mitchell Palmer
New Immigrants From Southern and Eastern Europe (e.g. Russia / Italy)
Old immigrants From Northern and Western Europe (e.g. Britain /Germany)
Fundamentalists Religious group who went to church regularly and believed in
Consumerism Increased production of consumer goods, they idea that high
spending is good
Depression Period of economic decline (few goods made and high
unemployment, more poverty) (Happened after 1929)
Open Door policy Made it easy for immigrants to come to into the USA
Republican A political party. Believes in low taxes, a limit to government
powers, rugged individualism, wants to encourage business
and people to be self sufficient
Rugged individualism Idea that individuals are responsible for their own lives
without help from anyone else / government
Speakeasy An illegal saloon / pub – an illegal drinking shop
Stock market Place where stocks and shares are sold
Should Know words
Bible Belt Area of US that is very religious
Bolsheviks Like communists
Bootlegger Makes illegal alcohol and sells it
Flapper Young woman who wore short skirts, danced in the 1920s
General strike Strike by workers in most if not all jobs
Ghetto Area were a minority live, usually because they are poor
Governor Elected head of a US state
Gramophone Record player
Hobo Unemployed wandered seeking a job
Import duties Taxes placed on good bought from foreign countries
Income tax Payments from wages to the government
industrialists Someone who owns / runs a factory or industry
Congress The US parliament (its split in to the Senate and the House of
Commercial Aviation Airlines used for business and to make a profit
Capitalism System where businesses are owned privately and people make a profit.
US was capitalist it’s the opposite of communist.
Laissez faire A policy of no government interference in the economy
Mass production Making goods on a large scale, lots and lots of them
Mechanisation Using machines
Rackets Schemes for making money illegally e.g. prostitution, gambling,
Radicalism A belief in more extreme / radical change
Share cropper Farm workers who did not own their land, they are given a share of the
crop instead of a wage
Socialist Like a communist
Supreme court Highest court in the USA
Tariff Import duty / tax on foreign goods coming into the country
Temperance movement A organisation which wanted to ban alcohol / wanted prohibition to be
Great migration Movement of blacks from the South to North
Trade union Organisation that protects and wants to improve worker’s pay and rights
UNIA Universal Negro Improvement Association. A self-help organisation for
black Americans let by Marcus Garvey.
WASP White Anglo Saxon Protestant
White Supremacy Idea that whites are naturally better than other races
Buying on the margin Borrowing money to buy shares on the stock market
bootlegger Produces or sales alcohol illegally
Bathtub gin Home-brewed gin
still A device used for distilling / making alcohol
moonshine Illegal alcohol
Rum runner Smuggles / transports alcohol across a border
Literacy test 1917 Immigrants had to be able to read a short passage in English
Emergency Quota Act 1921 – New immigrants allowed in as a proportion of the number of that
same nationality in the USA. Reduced the number of immigrants who
could come in from eastern Europe
National Origins Act 1924 Reduced quota further to 2%. Favours Northern Europeans
Immigration Act 1929 Restricts immigrants to 150,000 per year. No Asians.
John Scopes Taught evolution in Tennessee illegally and went on trial (Monkey trial)
anarchism Belief in removing all forms of government / laws
Back to Normalcy Back to ‘carefree’ days before World War I
Bolshevik Revolution Communist takeover in Russia in 1917
Bull Market A time when share prices are rising
Federal Government The central government of the USA based in Washington
Isolationism Policy of staying out of world affairs. The USA was isolationist in the
Minimum wage Lowest wage someone can be paid per hour
Pogroms An organised massacre of the Jews – a reason they moved to US
Xenophobia An irrational fear of foreigners
Women’s movement Wanted a better more equal life for women
Bigotry Like racism / intolerance
Butler Act Act in Tennessee which made teaching evolution illegal
‘Birth of a Nation’ Film which increased membership of KKK
HOW DO I LEARN DATES?
Where might you need to use dates? You want to show the examiner:
That you can DESCRIBE things in history. You do not need to know the date for
every fact. Weasel phrases (time connectives) such ‘then’ and ‘shortly afterwards’ are
usually quite good enough, and the most that you will normally need is ‘In 1939…’.
That you can EXPLAIN things in history. Here, you will need to provide a bit of evidence
the most you will usually need here is a year
That you can ANALYSE SOURCES, using your own knowledge. Again, rarely will a
specific date be essential to the argument.
So do not to get too hung up on trying to remember lots of
dates. You DO NEED to know what is happening at a certain
time, but you rarely need to know the exact date that it was
happening. There are other things (eg lists of causes/ stories
of key events) which are more important
1, Start by going through your topics and making lists of the dates you
think you must remember.
2, Prune your list to the number of dates you think you can remember.
HOW DO YOU LEARN THEM?
Here are some ideas
Lists. Write things like that down in lists, then read/look away to put them out of your mind,
then check if you know them, covering up one side then the other to see if you can remember
Revision Cards– date on one side, event on the other. You can go through the cards
whenever you have a moment (as you sit on the bus going home) seeing if you can remember
what is on the other side
Record them – dictate them, leaving short gaps in between. Play them back to yourself
over headphones, trying to fill the gaps before the tape does. Or recite them as a sing-song
Draw them - draw your dates onto timelines, using bright colours and pictures. Design
each timeline differently, so that it has a different ‘hook’ for your visual memory to hang it on.
Post it notes – tie the different dates to different places. Eg write date + event cards, and blutack
them to various places around the house (along the top of your wardrobe/ the back of the toilet
door). Start by actually GOING TO those places to learn the dates. THEN try to imagine your self
going to those places, and rehearse the dates in each location.
HOW DO I WRITE A HISTORY
PLAN YOUR ESSAYS CAREFULLY
Sort out what you want to say before you start writing – think about how to
answer the question, what are the key words / points? Scribble a list of your
main points and work out the best order. This will help you organise your
work into typically 3 to 5 main paragraphs. Also, joint down the key facts you
want to use. However, you can only afford a couple of minutes at most for this.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!
Planning may seem like a tedious waste of your precious exam time, but you won’t be saying
that when you get half way through your essay and realise it’s 500 words of total rubbish.
Think about it.
Don’t just chuck in everything you know. You have to try to be relevant and
It’s obvious if the examiner can’t read it, you can’t get marks for it. They only
have a few minutes to mark each exam paper.
USE GOOD ENGLISH.
Use formal language. This is not a text message to your mates you are writing
to an examiner. It may help to think you are talking to the Queen. So for
instance, it’s not cos it’s because. You also get marks for spelling, grammar
and punctuation. Learn the spellings of key words.
INTRODUCTION Think of an essay as a good burger.
The meat, lettuce, tomato (your main
points) needs bread (your introduction
and conclusion) to hold it together.
WRITE AN INTRODUCTION
Your introduction should be fairly brief. Don’t spend too long on it. You should
consider including one or more of the following features in any introduction you
o Explain in your own words the meaning of any key words or phrases in
the title, especially if it is a key word
o Give a very brief description of any person or organisation mentioned
in the title, explaining their importance
o ‘Set the scene’ for the essay by referring to any background details or
relevant events immediately before the period you are discussing.
o Give the examiner some idea of what your answer is going to be by
referring briefly to the points you will discuss in detail in your main
An introduction should be no more than about 5 sentences.
o Each paragraph should deal with just one substantial point. At the
start of the paragraph you should write a sentence which states clearly
what that big point is
o Then there might be many different examples to explain or justify
o The paragraphs in the middle will contain most of the factual material
you need (e.g. names, dates, places, examples).
You get marks for showing that you can organise your work.
If you realise you have not used paragraphs and you have time add in // to show where
they should be.
GIVE BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT
No matter what you think, or how strong your own opinion is. You must always
cover both sides of the argument. Often,if you don’t you will loose half the marks.
WRITE A CONCLUSION
This is, of course, your last paragraph. In it you should come to a decision and
say what your overall opinion is.
It is usually better to give a conditional or balanced answer. Try to think about
the extent to which you think something. (e.g. He was successful up to a point,
To back up your opinion, which should follow logically from what you have
already discussed in the main paragraphs of the essay, you should refer back to
the most important of the points you made earlier, but without simply repeating
It’s very hard to get a top grade without writing a conclusion
Try and avoid using ‘I’. You don’t need to say I think... your name is on the essay they know
it’s your opinion, just go right ahead and say your point. It just sounds more mature with
out the ‘I’. For instance, you don’t need to say ‘I think he was successful’, just say ‘He was
If you have time check you have included all the points in your plan. Also read
through your work to see if it makes sense.
IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG.
If you learn these skills are practise writing essays at home you won’t have
to worry so much in the exam. As they say practice makes perfect!
If it’s just a fact you’ve got wrong, then go back and cross it out neatly. If
there’s room, write the correct fact above the mistake – if not put a * beside
the mistake. Find a space. Put another asterisk there along with the correct
fact written out neatly.
It’s always a great idea to leave a few lines after each question, and a line
between paragraphs to put in any after thoughts or corrections.
If you realise in an essay that your argument is wrong, then don’t cross it
all out. Work out where you went wrong and then add another paragraph to
the end, explaining why your first argument was wrong, and giving the
right argument instead – you will gain marks for recognising your mistakes
and for correcting it.
Planning essays first can avoid mistakes!
WHAT ARE GOOD PHRASES TO USE IN
In addition.... As well as..... Also.....
Furthermore.... Moreover.... What is more...
This meant that..... This led to ... Consequently...
As a result..... Therefore..... Thus....
Whereas... ...on the other hand... ...in contrast...
...for example... ..for instance.... ...illustrates... ...is reflected in...
However,............... We find......
In conclusion... Overall...
The main reason...
...states that... ...shows that...
...... suggests that........ .......strongly suggests.......
The language used....
....would have us believe..... ....would have us doubt......
.......might show....... .... indicates.. ........might indicate.....
.... paints a picture of....
Imagine you are talking to the Queen, if you would not say it to her with a plum in your mouth
don’t say it in your history essay! That means no stuff, cos, u, or anything like that.
Try and avoid using ‘I’. You don’t need to say I think... your name is on the essay they know it’s
your opinion just go right ahead and say your point. It just sounds more mature without the ‘I’.
The exam paper –Sources Questions
Hints on how to answer questions
Sources questions make up ½ of your Nazis exam paper!
• That’s ¼ of your GCSE exam – it’s worth knowing how to answer different types of questions!
• Section A – is compulsory source questions 25 marks
• Section B – is knowledge recall / essay questions 25 marks
1a. What does Source A show you about…….? 2 marks
Testing comprehension of a source
– Look at picture pick out details and highlight
– Use written information as well
– Do not use own knowledge – no marks for it
– You need to pick out at least 2 relevant points which are well developed and supported
– About 4 sentences in length
– 2-3 minutes
1b, Use source …. And your own knowledge to explain why….(4 marks)
Testing - Comprehension of a source and recall of knowledge
• Read the source, highlight key points
• In your answer try to rephrase and explain these points in your own words
• Add your own knowledge to expand these points
• Add in other relevant points not in the source
• For top marks you need to do 2 things - refer to the information from the source and add to this with
information from your own knowledge of the topic area.
• About 8 sentences in length 4-6 minutes
1c - How far does source …. Support …… (5 marks)
Testing – analysis and evaluation of a source and the recall of own knowledge.
• Look at / read the source. Highlight key points.
• Explain these points in your own words linking them to the question
• Add in own knowledge to expand these points – points which are not in the source
• For top marks give a reasoned judgement linked to the question. The source does / does not support
the view that… because…
• About 10-12 sentences in length 7 minutes
1d- How useful is source… to an historian studying …… Explain your
answer using your own knowledge? (6 marks)
Testing the analyse, and evaluation of the utility of a source.
It could be a primary (from the time) or a secondary (later) source.
You need to think about the;
Author Who? When?
Purpose Why? Who said to and why?
Is it bias/ one sided?
The source is always useful!
Start with - Source … is useful because……
However, there can be problems with the source / limitations / what does it not say? / does it give the whole
What does it tell you? Explain the content in your own words - 2-3 sentences.
Source A is useful because it tell me…. it suggests….. .
Who? – author
o Important person? Job?
Source A is useful as it is written by … who is really important because…
The source tells you what a normal person experienced.
o Trustworthy? Bias? Neutral? One sided?
This is a reliable source because …..
Remember a bias / one sided source is still useful. It explains one point of view.
This is one sided because ….. it only explains ….. point of view
o In the know? First hand knowledge? Informed? Knowledgeable?
The author of this source is clearly knowledgeable because….
Source A is limited because… might not know the full picture because…
o At the time? Primary? Knows what happened?
Further, this shows what people believed at the time.
o Later? Secondary? Forget facts? Rose tinted glasses? Hindsight? Good overview?
Also, it is written by an historian they can see the whole picture.
However, the source has been written years later so they might have
forgot some facts.
Why written? Who is it aimed at? Propaganda? One sided? Bias? To inform? Justify what they did?
To keep a record?
What is more the source only shows one side it is being written because…
In addition, this may not be true as … is trying to justify their actions
For top marks limitations – what does it not say? Provide context
Use own knowledge to support your
What does the source not tell you?
Top marks – you must write about Content, Author and Purpose. If you only write about the content you
will not get more than ½ marks.
1e. Why do source … and … have different views about……?
In your answer you should refer to both the content of the source and the
author (8 marks)
Testing understanding of different points of view
• You need to talk about the content, author and purpose (see question d)
What do the sources say? How is it different?
• Read both sources with care, underling or highlighting important details.
• You can also scribble notes in the margin around the source and how it fits in with the period.
– Does it confirm what you know?
– Does it only refer to part of the answer and are some important points missing?
– Does it agree or disagree with what is said in the other source?
This will help you compare sources in terms of their content value.
You need to explain how the two views are different.
• Now think about things other than the content/what it says.
– Who wrote it?
• Why would they have different views?
• Are they both equally well informed?
• Are they explaining their own actions?
• Are they biased? One sided?
– When was it written? Where was it written?
• Are the authors writing at different times?
• Is one a secondary source the other a primary?
• Could one author have forgot information?
• Do they have the value of hindsight?
• Would they both know the whole picture at the time?
• Would they be influenced by propaganda?
• Could they tell the truth? Was there censorship?
– Why was it written?
• Are both authors telling the truth? The whole picture?
• Does this make it biased? One sided? Propaganda?
You need to use your own knowledge to explain
• For top marks you need to produce a balanced answer with good support from both sources and your
own knowledge, together with a detailed consideration of the attributions (who wrote it, when, why)
of each source.